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Newsweek Scotland: Terrifying Tales

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Derek Bateman Derek Bateman | 16:00 UK time, Friday, 28 October 2011

Are your knees still knocking? Forget Hallowe'en, if you read the Herald and the Scotsman this week you were confronted by a raft of headlines about UK Government lawyers who had discovered that an independent Scotland would be thrown out of the EU and would have to re-apply with appalling consequences. Scotland wouldn't be part of the UK/Ireland free travel zone because we would have to join the Schengen Agreement guaranteeing free movement for all European citizens so border controls would be needed between Scotland and England. (Think the Great Escape) We would be forced into the toxic Euro. Oh, and we are £41billion in debt to London. When you stack it all up you have to wonder if the Scots are a nation of bird brains to vote for Alex Salmond. Clearly WE ARE DOOMED.

Most of this came from legal papers "leaked" to journalists. Who would do such a thing? After all with a quad of ministers meeting weekly to discuss ways of tackling the SNP's referendum, it might look as if they were responsible for leaking government advice, something that shouldn't happen. The apparently uncritical tone of the reporting failed to lift the taint of suspicion. I'm sure we'll get a public statement of clarification from HMG next week.

Anyway in the relentless search for balance Newsweek is speaking to a leading academic with expertise in this field, Professor Michael Keating of Aberdeen University to see if he can shed light on what would really happen to EU membership after an independence vote. We hear from an SNP MEP and challenge him on just how "seamless" EU membership would really be and we get our economics guru Douglas Fraser to explain the £41 BILLION DEFICIT. He's not really a guru, I just can't remember his proper title.

We debate the Scottish Labour leadership...Yes, it's still dragging on and No, I've no idea when it will be over. We look at ethics in the City of London (seriously), Ireland, Italy and Greece and ask Angus Macleod to review the papers. Join me at 8...if your knees have stopped knocking.


  • Comment number 1.

    When you note who the "quad" of ministers are paying no attention to their ramblings is the best course of action. Those who voted for Salmond are not bird brains No we exported the bird brains to Westminster where their influence in anything Scottish is negligable, not that they have a positive attitude to Scotland in the first place

  • Comment number 2.

    The interview with Professor Keating was fair and enlightening. However, he took as an assumption that the rest of the United Kingdom would be regarded legally as the "United Kingdom" continuing. I accept that, in the world of realpolitik, that might very well turn out to be the case but it should be remembered that "the United Kingdom" became a state as a result of the 1603 Union of the Crowns and the Acts of Union which "united" the Scottish Parliament into the English one in 1707. It was a union of only two kingdoms and, if Scotland were to leave it, there would remain only a single kingdom, albeit sharing a monarch with Scotland and 15 or so other Commonwealth countries. At the very least, that kingdom would have to find a new name or, perhaps revert to "England" if the people of Wales and Northern Ireland consent. In these circumstances, could there be anything but two "continuing" entities, however large?


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